Google is introducing changes for all its products and services, so how can AdWords be left out. Yes, the search engine giant has recently and that too very quietly, announced a change in the rules. The change includes the proposition that businesses can now no longer include their phone number in the advertisement’s text. The changes will come into effect from the starting of next month. Updating its policy, the company has now included a statement which states that its call extension feature must be made use of.
A quite proposition is being said as the update had been made on the 16th of March, 2013, which was a Saturday and just days after the company’s second spring cleaning announcement. According to the company’s officials, here’s a synopsis of what’s newly incorporated:
“In the next few weeks, we will no longer allow phone numbers to be used in the ad text of new ads. Advertisers who would still like to promote phone numbers in their AdWords advertising can use the call extensions feature. We’re posting this alert now to provide adequate lead time to make ad changes.
“In April 2013, we will begin to disapprove ads that were using phone numbers in their ad text before the March 2013 policy change. We are making this change to foster a safer, more consistent user experience across desktop, tablet, and mobile devices.”
The second paragraph gives an insight into what Google is aiming at. Yes, it wants to monetize all the clicks and taps on phone numbers. The main reason behind this being the over-expansive usage of mobile devices to search on the Web for a business with an intention of calling them.
Thereby, the explanation of the “call extensions” feature, which lets you make the addition of a phone number to your ad so as to help customers call you directly as well as keep a track on the number of calls received is justified. The company elaborates and says:
“When a customer clicks the phone number on a mobile device that’s capable of making a phone call, you’ll be charged the same as for a standard click on the ad. Note that your phone number will be clickable only on devices that allow a user to click and call (so, for example, your ad will not show a clickable phone number on iPod Touch devices).”
This change was examined and brought to our notice by the UK advertising firm Media Agency Group which was not very pleased with the changes introduced, as thought. The company declared that:
“The amendment seems to be most detrimental for smaller businesses taking advantage of a direct call to their business before the cost of a click is made and marketers like Media Agency Group that publish a call tracking phone number in their own and client ads to measure return,” a Media Agency Group spokesperson told TNW. “The consequence for companies is that they will now be charged for clicked links and telephone calls made from Google ads, whereas previously they could slip telephone numbers into the text of their advert description and benefit from customers accessing their contact details without having to hit the URL.”
This update will not only affect the companies who advertise on Google, but will also mark a change in the behavior of the users. For now, it is advisable to make an adjustment with the changes and adapt quickly.